Soaring above the rest
American Eagle Outfitters
The call of the mall is powerful among today’s youth, and fashion options are plentiful once they get there. American Eagle Outfitters knows that you don’t get many second chances with this very discriminating audience, and luring them means winning from every angle, including brand image (Makes me feel cool!), style (So cute!), fit (My butt looks awesome!), and store experience (Easy and fun!).
Our ongoing work with AE hits every brand pillar, ensuring a unified and differentiating brand experience for its consumers – the right products, the right messaging, the right sub-brands, and the right targets, across the US and Canada. We help AE stay on top of trends, delight their current core consumers, attract new brand enthusiasts, and bring the brand in lucrative new directions (e.g., intimates, kids, plus-size).
Portfolio strategy, with arch support!
If you’ve got feet, chances are that at some point you’ve walked in a Brown Shoe. The family of brands includes Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl’s, Via Spiga, Franco Sarto, Zodiac, Sam & Libby, and Buster Brown, as well as retail sources like Famous Footwear and Shoes.com. That’s a lotta sole!
Our long-term partnership with Brown Shoe began with a portfolio analysis and consumer segmentation work. We helped them understand how to position each brand to a distinct audience and also provided “perfect fit” guidance for communications, retail strategy, product design, and acquisitions. Subsequently, we have informed specific brands and retail channels.
Most importantly, we helped to create a cohesive internal understanding of the consumer, so that the entire organization could walk in targets’ shoes, and effectively tailor strategies to their needs.
DailyCandy (DC), the fashion blog for today’s trendiest shoppers, sought research to provide a clear understanding of their positioning in the digital space. Insight was runway-ready for this challenge, painting a holistic picture of DC’s current audience, and identifying opportunities to grow.
We conducted qualitative research and performed a quantitative segmentation to identify core and potential DC targets and understand their relationship with digital media. We analyzed the perceptions of DC and key competitors, consumer fashion and shopping habits, and the ideal ways to reach and speak to targets.
In addition, we brought the trendiest segments to life via Facebook groups, asking them pointed questions about their lives, shopping habits, attitude towards local products, digital media behaviors, and relationship to DC. DailyCandy wound up with informed marketing, ad sales, editorial, and product strategies– everything they needed to put their best face forward.
Moving from drab to fab
A recent promotional initiative on the Dots website offers Lady Gaga CDs as well as a chance to win tickets to her concert. The campaign is edgy, current, and aspirational. But, as Gaga might say, Dots wasn’t born this way.
A specialty retailer that offers affordable fashion, Dots came to us looking for a refresh. They lacked a target consumer that they could get excited about, and a differentiated positioning to meet her needs.
In came our segmentation study. And based on our recommendations, Dots created a high-energy Fashion Party vibe for its targets, with the latest fashions, runway lighting, “girlfriend” store associates, and spacious dressing rooms, all for an affordable price.
Recent updated brand work showed them how affordable fashion can rock it even more now that people’s wallets are thinner.
Proof points for a valuable customer base
Many marketers know they should reach out to African-American women but often do not know why or how. For Essence, closing this knowledge gap is crucial to bringing in advertising and boosting other business opportunities. Thus, over the years we have worked with the Essence team to fuel their knowledge and authority on African-American women overall – their relationship to shopping, family, technology, etc.
Most recently, Essence came to us to dispel common myths about African-American women’s relationship to beauty. Through qualitative work and a quantitative segmentation study, we delivered a compelling narrative with detailed consumer profiles – their unique beauty needs, what drives their value equation, their most trusted brands, and what shapes their relationship to Essence. Furthermore, we provided Essence with a powerful tool to go out and bust some myths!
Wooing them with caviar and champagne
With a new designer at the helm of a legendary brand, Gucci wanted to know how to stay true to its roots while heralding in a new generation.
Explorations required talking to designer fashion consumers, who are not an easy lot to reach. To lure participants and get them excited about the research process,
we pampered them with a VIP party, conducting international research salons in high-end
luxury hotels, complete with gourmet food, cocktails, and chic décor.
Our implications included principles for evaluating communications campaigns based on timeless and timely fashion attributes their targets seek, allowing Gucci to deepen loyalty with core customers and increase relevance with new ones.
With a closet full of unique brand entities, Ascena Retail Group came to Insight looking to pool their brand expertise and position their brand portfolio. In an ever shifting fashion marketplace, Ascena sought to keep a pulse on their current customers’ needs and behaviors. Our wardrobe of prior fashion research made us well-suited to understand how Ascena could stay a thread ahead of consumer needs!
An ongoing online customer panel with Ascena consumers allowed us to recruit a strong sample base to continually interact with while answering Ascena’s ever-changing internal questions. Our longstanding experience helped us design innovative survey questions that informed on key strategy touchpoints for Ascena brands.
Our topical deep dives into the different brands have informed on product innovation, marketing and communications, and even retail design for Ascena. Since trying this exciting new research design on for size, we’ve helped make recommendations that have the Ascena Retail Group portfolio looking exceptionally well- tailored.
Keeping close company with the consumer
New York & Company
New York & Company was looking to become a more consumer-focused business. In our first study, stripping her down to her core retail and lifestyle needs, and informing how to tailor strategies to her.
Later studies have ranged from the detailed (testing particular lines of clothing in our Style Labs) to big-picture (defining the new meaning of “Wear-to-Work” for the modern woman).
Our partnership has informed a fresh, consumer-relevant, and better defined direction for the brand. In addition, we’ve provided them with a target segment who can be the muse for all brand touch point decisions, from merchandising to design and communications.
Riding the recession in style
A few years back, we helped Payless re-strategize its business from the ground up. Via extensive qualitative research and a quantitative segmentation, we identified target consumers and uncovered perceptions of the brand vs. competitors. Our work influenced branding, marketing, store environment, product assortment, and even the logo, moving the brand from a non-descript discount shoe retailer into a fun house of brands with limitless possibilities.
But as the marketplace changed, so did the shoe shopper… and we helped Payless stay connected to recession-hit consumers by providing an understanding of how shoes could help people ride the rough patches in style.
We shared the emotional benefits gleaned from loafers and stilettos, and how Payless could be the bridge between affordable and fashionable.